Opening Day! The Miami (not Florida) Marlins are shut out 2-0 on a combined 3-hitter by the Washington Nationals. The local radio wags are already talking about an over/under line for the number of blanks they’ll fire this year; they settled for 12 – 15.
What’s lost here is that their own pitching surrendered just 2 runs to the putative new dominating team — and in fact, it was 2 Brian Harper HRs. That’s a lot better than anybody expected out of Ricky Nolasco, who on any real major league franchise would be at best the #4 starter.
But fear not, Marlins fan(s?). On Wednesday the Marlins send up Kevin Slowey — great name for a hurler — who last pitched in 2011, where he turned in a record of 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA. He’ll face Gio Gonzalez — 21-8, 2.89 ERA in 2012. Also:
Placido Polanco said he doesn’t intend to change his hitting style and start swinging for the fences now that he’s batting in the cleanup spot, behind Giancarlo Stanton.
“That would be very stupid,” said Polanco, who has hit only 103 home runs in 15 big-league seasons, and only 13 total home runs during the past three.
For lack of anyone else with power other than Stanton, Redmond is going with Polanco because of the way he “handles the bat” and doesn’t strike out all that often.
“That might be a thing where we might rotate that depending on matchups,” Redmond said of the clean-up spot. “We don’t have a prototypical four-hole hitter, and if we move Stanton to fourth, we’re talking about the five-hole guy.” —Miami Hurled
“We don’t have a prototypical 4-hole hitter.” True dat, Red. This professional baseball franchise enters the season without a proper clean-up batter. This is the way these people run their business, and actually expect to attract customers. This is the way this ownership group rewards its home town for its investment, and honors its promise to the fans to field a competitive, entertaining team.
BTW — these Washington Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos, but that franchise was driven into the ground and essentially put out of business by its thoroughly incompetent and disinterested ownership group. This season, following shrewd investments over the last few years in both players and key management roles, the Nats are picked by many to make it to the World Series. That’s the difference good baseball people can make.
As for that failed Montreal ownership group that cost an entire city its baseball franchise? That would be Jeffrey H. Loria and his rat pack, who now own the Marlins.